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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

• Is Children’s Home an orphanage?

No. Decades ago, there were orphans living at Children’s Home who were sometimes adopted, but this has never been our purpose. Today, we are a specialized organization that provides professional counseling, special education and support services to children and their families.

• Where do the children who live there come from?

Most of our residential kids are referred by a state agency. First priority is given to kids from Central Illinois, though some come from across the state. Most referrals are from the IL Department of Children and Family Services, the IL Department of Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities, the IL Department of Corrections or an area school district or special education association. The children and families in our community-based programs are from the Tri-County area.

• Why are the children there?

Our residential kids are referred to us for the treatment of severe emotional and/or behavioral problems. Many of them have problems due to being physically, sexually and/or emotionally abused.

• What does “behavior problem or behavior disorder” mean?

It’s a technical phrase describing actions that are out of step with acceptable social standards (i.e., self abuse, destruction of property, hurting others). These behaviors create more problems/difficulties than they solve and are usually symptoms of underlying distress.

• How long do kids stay at Children’s Home? How long do you work with families?

Our residential kids are with us for about 12 months. The students at Kiefer School generally attend classes for two years, including two summer sessions. In our Community-Based Programs, the length of time a child or family is involved with Children’s Home varies greatly depending on the problems they have.

• Where do the children go to school?

Our residential kids attend school in District #150 classrooms at Children’s Home and don’t generally attend Kiefer School (the agency-run private school). Most Kiefer students live at home with their parents and come to Kiefer after a referral is made by their hometown school district.

• How old are the children there?

We work with children of all ages, from 0 - 21.

• How many children really live there?

Roughly 100 children live in our residential cottages and over 150 kids live in our foster homes.

• How many other children are served by the agency?

We serve about 1,700 children and families each month.

• Where do the children go when they leave?

Our residential kids generally leave Children’s Home and return to their own home, a foster home or independent adult living. Our Kiefer students live with their families while attending classes and return to their home school districts after leaving Kiefer.

• Have the children been abused?

Yes. Many, but not all, of our kids have been abused.

• Do the children have physical handicaps?

Most of the children we work with do not. However, some may have vision or hearing problems while others may have delays in physical growth or development.

• Do you work with children who are mentally handicapped?

Sometimes. Most of our kids have emotional, behavioral and social difficulties. Some of our residential programs require a minimum IQ, but we occasionally serve developmentally disabled youth.

• What about the parents of the children you serve?

Children’s Home is dedicated to family-focused work. Some parents are dealing with overwhelming problems that hinder their ability to be an effective parent, so we work with them and other organizations to help them help themselves. We find that most families are open to examining the way they function, and to suggestions and guidance for making positive changes.

• Do you adopt children out of Children’s Home?

Some of our foster children are adopted by their foster parents after termination of parental rights has occurred. This program is contracted with the Department of Children and Family Services to provide this service. Although we are new to the adoption arena, the number of children adopted by our foster families continues to increase.

• Do you have a place for homeless children to live?

No. Our live-in programs are treatment-focused for kids who have very serious emotional and behavioral issues. However, within our Community-Based Programs, we work as part of a team with 40+ other agencies to provide services to Peoria County homeless youth. Our goal is for these collaborative, community-based alternatives to reduce the number of homeless youth in Peoria, and give them the necessary shelter and support to transition to healthy, independent living situations.

• Can I put my child there?

Our kids have specific problems they need to work out. Many times families find that the range of services Children’s Home offers allows them to work on difficulties without the child leaving their own home. We reserve the right to determine what type of help a child needs. Roughly 250+ children are referred to our live-in programs each year.

• Do the programs work? How successful are you?

Based on recent studies, we are successful with 85% of our kids and families. That number is based on a broad range of objective measures that includes tests given to children as they enter programs and then again as they leave. The tests are given on the child’s behavioral goals which are mutually established between the referring agency and Children’s Home.

• Where does Children’s Home get the money for their programs?

Most of our programs are offered to children and families at no cost. About 95% of our operating budget comes from fee-for-service contracts, earned revenues and grants with various organizations and Illinois state agencies, including: the Department of Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities, Department of Children and Family Services, the Department of Corrections, Department of Public Health, Illinois State Board of Education, Ounce of Prevention Foundation, area school districts, and fees paid by families and 3rd party payments. The remaining 5% of our operating expenses are private donations.

• Do you use volunteers?

Yes. Each year 300+ people volunteer to help Children’s Home in a variety of capacities. If you are interested in helping us, check out our Volunteering page, or please call Craig Mitchell, Volunteer & Training Coordinator at 309.687.7411.

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Children's Home Association of Illinois
Administration Building
2130 N. Knoxville Ave.
Peoria, IL 61603


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